Healing Roots

The Power of Storytelling

The Healing Roots project creates space for underrepresented voices to take hold of their own history and narratives, and share their knowledge through storytelling. The resulting video stories create a visual painting with words that show people’s connection to their environment and knowledge of their own communities’ traditions, values, and history. Many of these voices come from environmental justice communities that we partner with.

We joined forces with many different groups as we reached into our communities to amplify these narratives. They include but are not limited to the University of Minnesota – College of Liberal Arts, Backyard Phenology, COPAL MN, and Riverside Plaza Tenants Association.

Our first storyteller, Weli Hassan, from Riverside Plaza in Minneapolis, shares his story below. He has a vision for his community and we are honored to be partnering with Riverside Plaza to create healthier landscapes.


In the interview below, elders from the community tell their stories. They share what life is like in Somalia and how different life is in Minnesota at Cedar Riverside Plaza.


This is an ongoing project. If you’re working with a community or partner that is interested in sharing their narrative, please contact us. We are specifically targeting underrepresented voices in this work.